I apologize for my absence, but quite a lot has happened since I posted last.
So, in July of this year, my dad died. My dad was one of my best friends. We hung out on a daily basis, shot the shit, and had a really good relationship. I needed to go to the doctor one day after work and my dad offered to drive me up there. Nothing odd about that, because he was always trying to help out in one way or another. The guy would hop out of bed at 3am to help me out of a jam even if he had a 12 hour shift coming up at 6am. That’s just who he was. All day he had complained of how hot it was, which also wasn’t out of the ordinary. I mean, it’s Florida. He also complained that he had a headache, which also wasn’t out of the ordinary. People get headaches all the time. Looking back now though, I wonder if his death could have been prevented if I paid attention to the signs.
So I hop into his truck and he tells me that he has to run back because he forgot his glasses. I tell him that he has his glasses in his pocket, and he gives me a confused look like “how could I have forgotten that?” Again, I think nothing of it. We drive to the doctor’s office and talk about politics, which he and I do not agree on. We never hardcore argued or anything, but just kind of ripped on each other. You know, him saying that I am a millennial who will “understand one day,” why Donald Trump is so great, and me letting him know that boomers are completely out of touch with reality, especially lately. It was always in jest. We joked around with each other, never getting really mad or anything, just taking friendly digs and laughing about it.
So, he drops me off at the doctor and I tell him goodbye, and that I loved him. We always said that to each other if we were parting ways, no matter if it was only for five minutes or not. As I walked in, I noticed he was still sitting there for a moment before he pulled off. Now, I would have biked up to the doctor myself, seeing as I bike everyday after work for exercise, but he was adamant about taking me, which looking back, was kind of weird. I am not sure still why he wanted to take me so badly, but he always wanted to help out so much that it didn’t even set off any internal alarms.
I saw my doctor and came out. I texted him, but got no response. I called him, no response. This was out of the ordinary, because he ALWAYS answers my calls. I however just assumed he was messing with me for talking shit like we always do in the truck. Naturally, I got pissed because now I had to walk home. I would have had a bike, but he insisted on taking me, so what the fuck, right? I called an Uber and the guy came to pick me up. We went down the road towards my dad’s house but it was blocked off and we had to take a detour. This also wasn’t out of the ordinary because they were doing road work there. I got to his house, but his truck wasn’t there. I called my girlfriend and she agreed that it was odd that he didn’t answer or even call back.
I hopped on a bike and went towards where the road was blocked off, and as I approached all of the commotion, I could faintly see an old red truck, just like his. As I got closer, it started to look even more like his. I stopped at the police tape and the police approached me asking why I was there. I told them that I think that is my dad’s truck. They get my information, and have me wait there. They tell me someone is coming to talk to me. At this point, I assume it’s his truck and that they’re coming to tell me which hospital he’s in, because the wreck looked bad and he was likely injured. After about an hour of my pacing by the police tape, the detective finally comes down and lets me know that my father had died right there. They said he had swerved into oncoming traffic(the autopsy would later show that he likely had a heart attack).
A few women who was with him when he died reached out to me in the following days, and told me they were there with him, and prayed with him as he died. I’ll always appreciate them for comforting him like that. He wasn’t too religious, but I imagine given his situation, he was scared and confused. I am glad someone was there holding his hand through that.
I called my brother, my cousin, and my aunt to deliver the bad news. My brother met me that night to identify the body. He went in because I couldn’t. Some big brother I am. We had to make the arrangements to fly his body to Ohio so that he could be buried close to my brother who died when he was three years old of cancer on Valentine’s Day. Our family still doesn’t celebrate that one.
We held the funeral and I gave a speech there. It was really well done, and my brother and I did what we could to make it something that he deserved. Now he is buried next to my brother, and whether we’re in a simulation or not, I hope I can see them both again someday.
I have been in this weird transitional limbo since. Sort of like a before him and after him timeline. After returning to Florida, I realized I couldn’t look at all of the places we visited anymore. I kept seeing things that reminded me of the crash, and considering where it happened, we had to use that road every day. So, we decided to move to Ohio, where I am from originally.
I worked with a realtor in the area, and bought a house in southwestern Ohio. Since then, we have been moving our entire household, which I had to drive a 26 foot U-Haul through the mountains in the winter, that was fun. Notice the sarcasm. We had to do all of this quickly, and we knew it.
Before I left, though, I married my best friend on Clearwater Beach. So, my wife, my baby, and I are all still getting acclimated to the new weather, people, places, and scenery of our new home and new life. We love it here because it’s everything Florida isn’t, and we needed that. My wife loved my dad as much as I did, and it hit all of us hard. His favorite holiday was Thanksgiving and it was particularly rough the first year without him, and now he won’t have Christmas with his granddaughter. He won’t even get to see her turn one.
The reason I am writing all of this is to vent of course, but to let everyone know that I haven’t forgotten my readers. I will return soon with more lists, projects, and rants. I’ve just been having a hard time, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our home is coming together nicely, and I am doing well in my career. So keep a lookout, there will be more from me soon. Maybe some home improvement how tos, since I have basically become Hank Hill upon returning to my ancestral home and taking up the mantle of my father. lol
Anyway, bye for now. =)